Know your limits

Trip Start Dec 26, 2010
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39
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Trip End Jul 01, 2011


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Where I stayed

Flag of Argentina  , Northern Argentina,
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lonely Planet recommended to rent a bike in Cafayete, take a bus for 50 km into the Quebrada de Cafayate and then ride it back to town. John was determined to do it, and me... I knew it would be tough, but decided to do it for the adventure. The afternoon before, we browsed for bikes in different rental shops and picked the ones. The guy promised to arrive earlier in the morning, so we could make it to the 8:30 am bus. He did not show up, so we had to go with our second best (and only) option.

The bus dropped us off at Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat), which is a pretty and huge rock formation. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/travelblogs/1374/78420/Photo+of+the+Week%3A+Garganta+del+Diablo,+Cafayate?destId=363054

Then we started to ride.... And I realized my rear breaks were not working well. John made it a little better, but it was not perfect. I worried, but It should have been the least of my worries, because there were no major downhills (unfortunately). So why did I choose the title "know your limits"? Well, because I learned that I did not know it well enough. I underestimated the effect of the heat, no shade and little wind, into my psycho. I did reasonably well for the first 2/3 of the way, not without complaining. But the last 10 km were just too much for me. It was not because the road went uphill or anything. It was about a 2 degree decline, so not enough for gravity to really help you. I had to make several stops and in some of them I just wanted to stay there, sleep and continue in the morning. The whole journey took us 7 hours, as opposed to the 4 hours that the guidebook said. The guidebook did not warn you that in the summer it will get really hot there, you will probably get burned and there wont be any shade.

In sum, I need to know better next time. I learned I can hike for a long time, in really steep, narrow hills.... But bike riding through the desert is not my forte.

To leave this on a high note.... The scenery was amazing! There was nothing to see on the last 20 km, so I think that impacted my energy level. We saw a flock of wild parrots very closed up, a few times. We saw llama, we crossed a river by bike, we took great pictures.... And burned lots of calories! ;-)

Cheers,

Vivi
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